The first year of transformation

A year ago, chairing the Accounting Chamber, I immediately understood that changes were inevitable. And they must be real, not in paper. The reason is that Accounting Chamber finally has to "get out of the shadows." The supreme audit body, which advocates the effective use of every hryvnia of Ukrainians, should hold public confidence. And every Ukrainian should know clearly that Rahnukova will not allow the unscrupulous officials to stretch their money in pockets, and will force them to direct it on the important public issues - increasing social standards, improving the quality of educational and medical services, building roads, etc. After all, for me there is no such thing as public funds. There is each taxpayer’s money and they have to work efficiently.

Of course, like every new manager, I'm "charged" with fast changes - I wanted to implement everything within three - four months. In the first weeks I had a queue from "benevolent people" who explained why these or other changes are impossible. Some confusion and resistance somehow slowed the process of reforming the Chamber. But in general we managed.

Holding this position, I also clearly understood that the effective work of the institution would not add friends. But I was ready for this. I am an optimist and believe that our control objects will understand that the Accounting Chamber is not an enemy, but a reliable partner for those who are trying to spend money efficiently. But we do not want to be held responsibility for the inactivity of the control objects; we do not want and will not omit the violations we find.

The desire to achieve qualitative changes in the financial system led to the will to change approaches to the work of the institution. A year ago, we took the course to improve the quality of work and qualifications of our employees, conduct audits according to international standards, to technical upgrade and openness. And they made significant progress.

The framework of cooperation with the government and parliament has been changed. I constantly take part in meetings of the government, the conciliatory board of Parliament, meetings of the committees of the Verkhovna Rada, constantly communicating with members of Parliament, ministers and other officials. To all of them, I am conveying the key message - prevention of the abuse first of all is possible with the effective work of managers of any department or institution. And the essence of our work is to provide practical recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the managers. Elimination of corruption depends on the effective activity of the entire power vertical. We do not want and will not stop any number of violations that we find. We do our best to ensure that our reports, prepared according to international standards, have always been a reliable source of reliable strategic information for the President, Parliament and Government, and, equally important, for the whole society in the process of reforming the country.

During this year, the Accounting Chamber made clear to all objects of control that our recommendations are ti be implemented. And no formal declarations will pass. The time passed when the Accounting Chamber could be ignored.

We have expanded the list of databases and state registries that can be accessed by the Accounting Chamber. The bases of SFS, Treasury, and Justice Ministries are only "the first swallow", and work in this direction continues. What does it give us? Everything is very simple. This is a reducing in the time of audits and a basis for more reasoned conclusions.

Significantly increased cooperation with law enforcement agencies - already signed agreements with NABU and DBR, and soon we will conclude with the GPO and others. During the year of the cadence of the renewed Chamber, according to our materials, 62 criminal proceedings have already been commenced. Of course we are not a punitive body. But it is important for every citizen not only to hear loud reprimands about careless handling of their money. They also demand that responsible person who is guilty should be properly punished. And nobody should avoid responsibility.

It's no secret that the effective work of an institution depends on the professionalism of its employees. Therefore, the improvement of the qualifications of our auditors and the updating of the staff were, for the year, no less important for us. We invite international experts and our scientists to work together. We want to be clear and modern, have effective communication with the objects of control, the public, the media. Therefore, they developed a new identity, launched in the beta version of a new site, the pages of the Chamber of Accounting in social networks.

We succeeded in starting a new philosophy of international cooperation. Integration into the global auditing system is something that the Accounting chamber needed for a long time for proper work. For the first time in our institution, we conducted a functional review of our activities. Thanks to the financial assistance of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the High Audit Office of Great Britain, with the involvement of experts from Germany and Poland, was evaluated. And we have already received recommendations on what should be focused on for a more effective reform of the Chamber. On their basis, the Strategy for the development of the Accounting Chamber will also be developed. Without it, it's very difficult to move further. By the way, GIZ, on behalf of the German Government, allocated considerable funds to the Accounting Chamber not only for the functional assessment, but also for development trainings of our employees.

During this time, We signed agreements on cooperation with SAI of Estonia, Georgia, Poland, Albania, Israel. We take an active part in parallel international audits, run in financial and IT audits. An important partner for us was and remains the World Bank. Over the past 10 years, the Accounting Chamber has conducted 35 audits of the World Bank projects that are being implemented in Ukraine through the state budget.

We constantly maintain contact with the Supreme audit institutions of other countries, with European and International organizations of higher financial control bodies - EUROSAI and INTOSAI. Incidentally, despite the fact that many INTOSAI member countries suffered from military aggression, the Accounting Chamber itself raised the issue of the establishment of a Task Force on the assessment audit of losses and damages and the use of funds to overcome the consequences of military conflicts. It turned out that there is still no single international methodology to do this - and it should be corrected promptly. We have already discussed our idea with the ambassadors of foreign states, heads of a number of higher audit bodies. I see the understanding and support of the Accounting Chamber's initiative. It is very important for us that during INTOSAI Congress in September this year most of countries support Ukraine and vote for the establishment of a Task Force.

And this is not a complete list of our achievements. The struggle for the effective use of money of Ukrainians continues! Let's start the second year of changes!